27 Awesome Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Written by on August 18, 2019 in Business, Economy with 0 Comments


By Donna Freedman | The Huffington Post

Start saving now!

Think you can’t save? Think again! Sure, it seems like there’s not much wiggle room in your budget, due to the rising costs of basic necessities—but that’s all the more reason to have a slush fund. When an emergency arises, you want to have some extra funds sitting somewhere so that you don’t entirely end up broke. Fortunately, there are plenty of painless ways to siphon cash from even a fixed income.

Start slowly, but do start; those money seeds will blossom into an extra layer of financial security. That sure beats wondering if you can really afford to put a $20 bill in a grandchild’s birthday card.

Easy does it

Start small with these basic tips:

1. Change in a jar. The old standby of saving all your change in a jar? It works. Sure, it might be only $10 a month, but that’s $120 a year that might otherwise have ended up in vending machines or those “take a penny, leave a penny” dishes. Small change does turn to something big. Just remember, don’t get any change out of that jar; leave some room for it to grow.

2. Save your coupons. Many stores print “You saved X dollars” on the receipts. But it’s not savings unless you save it, so transfer that amount—immediately!—into your bank account.

3. Save your raise. If you’re still working and were lucky enough to get a pay increase, pretend you didn’t. Bank it instead.

Related Article: 20 Simple Ways to Cut Costs and Save Money Every Day

Challenge yourself

Once you’ve started taking little steps, you’ll be ready for more advanced strategies in managing money to be more practical, as these challenges:

4. Dollar bill challenge. When you get home from work or running errands, put all the $1 bills from your wallet in a jar. (Some people do this with $5 bills, but that’s too rich for my blood.)

5. Random number challenge. Pick a number, then check your wallet nightly for bills whose serial numbers end in the digit you’ve chosen.

6. Weekly challenge. Actually, a monthly challenge: You put aside $1 the first week of the month, $2 the second week, and so on. You’ll end up with $10 to $15 per month. Not bad!

7. Calendar challenge. Put aside $52 in the first week of January. The next week, $51; the week after that, $50. And so on. This smarts at first, but keep your eyes on the prize: the $1,378 you’ll have amassed by the end of the year.

Use your bank

Use your bank’s services to turn hard-earned cash into even more money:

8. Automate your savings. The easiest thing ever: Set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings each month. Better yet, transfer from checking into an online savings account, since you can’t dip into on a whim.

9. Designate your dollars. Some banks let you set up sub-accounts and give them specific names. It might be the “Slush Fund” but it could also be more specific, such as “New Car” or “Reunion Trip.”

10. Keep the Change. This Bank of America program rounds debit-card purchases up to the next dollar and then transfers that amount from checking into savings. For example, if you pay $37.03 for groceries, 97 cents would go into savings. Easy, huh?

11. Password protection. Turn your PINs into reminders. For example, when you sign on to your favorite shopping sites, maybe having to type “jan92015”—the birthdate of your first grandchild—would remind you that setting up a college plan would be more rewarding than a new blouse.

Related Article: If You Want to Attract Money, Stop Acting Broke!

Access apps and websites

The internet is full of programs designed to help you save money. For example, check out Paribus Review, and these other money-saving resources as well:

12. Get a cash rewards credit card. Use it to pay for everything you can – groceries, utilities, gym membership – and bank the cash rebates. Look for the best cards at sites like NerdWallet or CardRatings.com. As long as you keep within your spending limits, shopping online using your credit card can actually prove to be a more practical choice. Then, you may even have more access to shops online that are offering specials and discounts. With a discount code to match, you’re sure to save up a few bucks.

13. Save impulsively. Tempted by an unnecessary purchase? Talk yourself down, then enter the amount of money you might have spent into a free app called ImpulseSave. That money will be transferred into savings.

14. Take surveys. SonyaAnn, who blogs at A Mom, Money, and More, belongs to a few online opinion sites. Last year she earned $123, and also got some products to test. She does it waiting for the laundry to finish or watching TV with her husband.

15. Discount your purchases. Buy discounted gift cards on the secondary market for items you need most often. Suppose you buy a $50 Walgreens card for $44 and a $100 PetSmart card for $87. Immediately transfer $19 into savings and use the cards like cash. Discounted gift cards are available for just about anything you need; check GiftCardGranny for the best deals.

Play mind games

Break behaviors by fooling yourself:

16. Bill yourself. You meet your monthly obligations on schedule, right? Make “savings” a bill, then pay it. Tip: Use the “bill reminder” feature of a budgeting software site like Mint.com or PowerWallet.

17. Get a savings buddy. Suggest that a friend or relative join you in the slush-fund goal, then chat or e-mail each week about your progress. You might even make it a challenge, i.e., whoever saves the most has to buy lunch.

18. Symbolize your savings. Suppose you or a spouse will retire in 2016. Transfer $20.16 cents into savings every month (or every week). If that class reunion takes place in June 2017, set aside $23 (six plus 17) every month/week to help defray the cost of attending.

19. Hide Your Dollars

Set up your slush fund as an online account; the few days it takes to transfer money is a built-in cooling-off period. (Do you really need that whatever-it-is?) Or, open it at a bank way across town and don’t get a debit card. Having to drive and fill out a withdrawal slip should help you re-think purchases.

Transform Your Routine

Take a look at those little, repeated behaviors that could actually be costing you a ton:

20. Change An Unhealthy Habit

Do you smoke? Quit! Then set aside the money that once went for tobacco. In the habit of driving three blocks to pick up a prescription or a quart of milk? Walk instead—you’ll save money (gas, wear-and-tear) and get a little exercise to boot.

21. Change A Fun (But Pricey) Habit

Do you meet friends at Starbucks a few times a week? Replace those meetings with a pleasant stroll or an at-home kaffeeklatsch. (Take turns hosting) Do you and your spouse give in to the “early bird special” too often? Instead, look for new recipes and prepare them together. You don’t have to give up good times—you just have to re-imagine them.

Designate Your Change

A penny saved is a penny earned. These tricks make the most of your change:

22. Round It Up

Still use a checkbook, or a paper register to balance your online account? Record that $72.19 electric company payment as “$73” and turn the $35.27 supermarket bill into “$36.” Do this all month with both checks and debit purchases, then transfer the differences into savings.

23. Swipe A Few Bucks

The day before the payday/Social Security deposit day, check your checking-account balance. If there’s $139.95 in the account, send $9 (or $39) into savings.

24. Found Money = Fund Money

Any unexpected cash (rebate checks, the quarter you found in a parking lot, etc.) goes into savings.

More Sneaky Tips

And if you really need a boost…

25. Launder Your Funds

Every time you do a load of wash put $2 in a jar. (I do this, and it really adds up.) Oh, and let your family know that any money found in their pockets is now your money. Or, rather, the fund’s money. If laundry isn’t your thing, then choose any other chore and follow the same concept. Pay yourself a dollar or two each time that you do a chore. See how much this can add up in a year.

26. Pay It Forward

Finally made the last car payment? Keep writing that check – or, rather, transfer the amount into savings each month. Not possible? Transfer half the amount. Just because you feel like you’ve finally gone out of debt, don’t stop saving. If you were able to survive the past years putting that extra 300 dollars a month on your car payment, then surely you can survive the next months by still setting aside that amount – except that now, it grows in your savings account.

27. Reward Yourself

Some people have a “swear jar,” putting in a quarter every time they let a choice word fly. But why not a “Yay you!” jar instead? If you decided not to buy an ice-cream cone at the mall, put a quarter in the jar. (Better yet, put in the cost of the cone.) Chose to wait until “Senior Monday” to see the latest blockbuster movie? Made dinner instead of going out? Yay you! Now: Pay you!

While these may seem like a sacrifice to do, in reality, you’re actually doing yourself more of a favor. All the cash that you save, in exchange for spending on these splurge decisions, will add up on your savings. One day, you may be able to finally afford a worthwhile reward, one that just doesn’t melt in a minute or two.

Final Word

As a timely reminder, stay away from the hype or anything fancy that you don’t need. It is easy to buy new gadgets and break your savings jar for it. Still, if you need to replace your computer, check out these budget-friendly options. Take advantage of online shopping to get what you need and stretch the value of your money. Your growing savings account is surely your reward.

Saving money doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. In fact, you don’t even have to save big bucks all the time. Every penny does add up, no matter how little it may be. Even if you’ve got bills piling up and other expenses to cover, this doesn’t mean that you have to end with zero.

If you put your heart into saving, then these means become a matter of habit whereby you now learn to save more than you spend. Once you get started with it, you may never even stop.

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